ABINGDON, Md. -
Two people are dead after a fiery crash that may have been caused by road rage, police said.
The precise details of what led to the incident are hazy, but two sad facts are crystal clear. Thirty-one-year-old Veney B. Tanner of Abingdon, and 17-year-old Janelle E. Jackson, are dead despite a Maryland State Trooper's valiant efforts to save them.
Police said around 2:00 a.m. Saturday, Tanner was driving on 95 north in a 2005 Lexus with two passengers; Jackson and Myron Doram, 38 of Randallstown. Witnesses said the road rage dispute may have started when a Jeep stopped short in front of Tanner. Police think both cars pulled to the shoulder of I-95 just past the Rt. 24 exit and several persons were seen getting out of the Jeep. Witnesses said, at least one of those persons was banging on the windows of the Lexus.
Police are clarifying details, but according to reports, the Lexus suddenly pulled off the shoulder and back into northbound 95 traffic where a 2006 white box truck, driven by Clinton T. Griffin, 63, of Delaware slammed into it. The impact sent the truck and the Lexus off onto the left side of the highway where the Lexus burst into flames.
The occupants of the Jeep apparently got back into the vehicle and it left the scene, police said.
The first police officer on the scene was Maryland State Police Officer Cpl. Kevin Watkins, who despite being off duty, sprang into action to pull trapped victims out of the fully engulfed Lexus. Ignoring the flames, Watkins pulled all three to safety and began CPR on Tanner, who was unresponsive.
Tanner was taken to Chesapeake Hospital where he died a short time later. Jackson was medevaced to the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center where she later died.
Also injured in the crash were Myron Doram, 38, of Randallstown, Md., and box truck driver Clinton T. Griffin, 63, of Newark, Delaware. Both were transported by ambulance to Bayview Hospital for treatment of their injuries.
Corporal Kevin Watkins of the JFK Highway Barrack was transported to Upper Chesapeake Hospital where he was treated and released.
The northbound lanes of I-95 at Rt. 24 were closed for about five hours due to the extensive scene and police investigation.
Anyone with information about the crash or the Jeep that left the scene is urged to contact Maryland State Police at the JFK Highway Barrack immediately at 410-537-1150.